Booting your own kernels in a Qubes qube (VM)

published Feb 27, 2023

The instructions are not complete.

If you read this you might have come across the instructions to do the following in order to boot your own kernels installed in /boot:

  1. Set your AppVM's kernel to '' using qvm-prefs -s <vm> kernel ''
  2. Set your AppVM's virtualization mode to HVM using qvm-prefs -s <vm> virt_mode hvm

This will not work!

You need to do one more thing.  Here are the steps:

  • Start your AppVM's template qube.
  • In a terminal within that qube, run sudo grub2-install /dev/xvda
  • Power off your template qube.

That will work.  HVM mode boots the VM from the "first hard disk".  If there is no bootloader in the disk — which is the case in the default templates — then nothing will happen, and eventually Qubes OS will give up starting your qube.